Faculty Members Seek Answers About Firings at U. of North Carolina Campus

Faculty and staff members at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro are demanding answers from administrators about three employees who were fired on Friday and charged with felonies. According to the university, the three longtime employees were using state-owned cameras for a freelance photography business. The Faculty and Staff Senates were scheduled to meet Thursday with the university’s chancellor, Linda P. Brady, about whether the administration acted properly in the firings, among other questions.

GREENSBORO – UNCG employees say they are concerned, outraged and fearful in the wake of the firing and arrests of three longtime university employees. Spoma Jovanovic, a communications studies professor and the chairwoman of UNCG’s Faculty Senate, said employees also were disturbed by a letter made public Tuesday.

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U. of Nebraska at Lincoln Offers Buyouts to Tenured Professors

The University of Nebraska at Lincoln has offered buyouts to 30 percent of its tenured faculty members. Professors 62 or older who have been teaching at the university for at least 10 years can accept the offers, which amount to 90 percent of a professor’s annual base salary. According to the college, 256 professors are eligible.

The move is meant to find “flexible dollars that allow us to hire the next generation of faculty,” said the university’s chancellor, Harvey Perlman, in a written statement.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will offer buyouts to tenured professors near retirement age this fall in hopes of building flexibility into future budgets, the university said Wednesday. Faculty members 62 and older with 10 years of experience at UNL will be eligible for a one-time payment equal to 90 percent of their annual base salary.

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U. of New Mexico Administrator Apologizes for ‘Sex Week’

An official of the University of New Mexico says it did not sufficiently supervise a sexual-education event called “Celebrate Sex Week at UNM,” the Associated Press reports. The university’s vice president for student affairs, Eliseo Torres, issued an apology on Tuesday after administrators received dozens of complaints about the four-day program.

Mr. Torres’s statement said that the student groups that had organized the “Sex Week” workshops, which began on Monday, had good intentions but th…


250 Anthropologists Call for Academic Boycott of Israel

A group of more than 250 anthropologists has signed a pledge not to cooperate with Israel’s academic institutions. The anthropologists represent the latest group to support an academic boycott of Israel since the nation began a military campaign in the Gaza Strip in July.

“As a community of scholars who study problems of power, oppression, and cultural hegemony, we have a moral responsibility to speak out and demand accountability from Israel and our own governments,” wrote the anthropologists.


Seminary Fires 8 Professors Who Complained About Its Leader

The General Theological Seminary, in New York City, has fired eight of its 10 full-time faculty members after they walked off the job on Friday to highlight their complaints about a president they accused of creating a hostile workplace, according to The New York Times and the blogs Episcopal Café and Anglican Ink.

The faculty members sent a letter to the institution’s Board of Trustees on September 17 detailing their complaints about the Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle, who is dean and president of th…


College Republicans’ Ads Compare Politicians to Wedding Dresses

The College Republican National Committee on Wednesday launched a 16-state advertising campaign that compares politicians to wedding dresses, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The ads, which cost nearly $1-million and parody the popular TLC television show Say Yes to the Dress, chronicle a young woman’s quest to find the right wedding dress. She is fond of the Republican model—proven, no frills. But her mother likes the Democratic model—flashy and costly. Six nearly identical ads are viewable…


Jewish-Studies Scholars Condemn List of ‘Anti-Semitic’ Professors

Thirty Jewish-studies professors have released a statement condemning a group that circulated a list of professors in Middle Eastern studies whom it labeled anti-Zionist or anti-Semitic and urged students to avoid. The Amcha Initiative, an activist group whose mission is “to investigate, document, educate about, and combat anti-Semitic behavior on college and university campuses,” published the list, of more than 200 professors, who it said support an academic boycott of Israel.

Calling that pub…


To Help Community Colleges’ Students, Help Their Presidents

The Association of American Colleges and Universities has announced a new project aimed at improving community-college students’ success by better training the colleges’ leaders. The effort, financed with a $290,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation, will include the creation of an online hub to share best practices at community colleges nationwide, among other things.

This isn’t the first project that has focused on community-college presidents, droves of whom are expected to retire during the n…


Students at Virginia State U. Ask Top Administrators to Resign

Hundreds of students at Virginia State University rallied on Tuesday to protest budget cuts and to demand the resignations of three top administrators, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. The students criticized, among other things, a lack of communication between leaders and students regarding the historically black university’s financial problems. Students said administrators hadn’t sought their input before recommending cuts in student services.

Students were unaware of VSU’s financial difficulties, he said, but are now witnessing curtailed academic programs, larger class sizes, shuttered dorms and “closures in our cafeterias, which reduce our access to healthy meals.” The rally was held between the Gateway residence hall and event center, where the cafeteria was turned into a fast-food operation this semester.

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U. of Chicago to Increase Support for Low-Income Students

The University of Chicago is altering a range of policies to do more for low-income students, The New York Times reports. Among the changes, announced on Wednesday, are:

  • Student loans will be replaced with grants in cases of need-based financial aid.
  • Students applying for financial aid will automatically have the application fee waived.
  • The CSS/Financial Aid Profile will be eliminated as part of the application process for financial aid.

The changes, to be put into effect over five years, will…